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WJ makes state record in cross country, MoCo runners sweep 4A individual titles

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Green NakasakaSeen here in earlier races, Abbey Green led the WJ Lady Wildcats to a fifth state championship win while Adam Nakasaka repeated his winning performance from last week’s regionals to lead the B-CC Barons to a fourth-place finish. FILE PHOTOS

A Montgomery County cross country team made a new state record and three county athletes finished their high school careers as state champions in the 5-kilometer run Saturday.

The Walter Johnson High School girls cross country team overcame the loss of two top runners (who were both injured before Saturday’s meet) to win their fifth consecutive state championship – a state record according to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

WJ head coach Tom Martin told the Sentinel that during a Friday night team meeting, he warned the healthy portion of his squad that they would have to run faster to win the race. But his team rose to the occasion, as the Lady Wildcats’ score of 83 points was sufficient to claim the state 4A crown.

Walter Johnson senior Janet Scott said she and her teammates each had to put in extra effort during their races to get the win.

“It’s been a lot of challenges, but it’s been a lot of us coming together and working really hard,” she said.

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WJ, Whitman take MoCo cross country titles

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DSC 8747WJ Lady Wildcats' Abbey Green aids teammate Janet Scott. Green finished first in the girls cross country championships for Montgomery County, 47 seconds ahead of Scott in second place . PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

GAITHERSBURG — The Walter Johnson High School varsity girls and the Walt Whitman varsity boys cross country teams each finished with the lowest amount of points overall, earning them the championship trophies.

The Montgomery County varsity boys and girls county 5 kilometer individual champions were not unfamiliar faces.

Two seniors – Poolesville’s Ryan Lockett (15 minutes and 32 seconds), the county’s 2016 runner-up and 3A state champion, and Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green (17:57), two-time county champion (2015, 2016) and 2016 4A state runner-up – won their respective races.

“It was close the entire race,” Lockett said.

For the girls team, Walter Johnson head coach Tom Martin said the girls work together well. This year was Walter Johnson's fourth consecutive County title.

“Our four seniors have been good – they’ve done this plenty of times, they know what they have to do, and when it comes down to this time of year, they’re a good group at figuring out what they have to do in a race, where they have to be to be successful,” Martin said.

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Oakdale edges out Springbrook to win basketball championship 69-6

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MPI mdelite 0024Springbrook’s Peace Addo (8) and Cameron Rucker (11) move to block Oakdale’s Drew Jezioro (3) as he attempts a layup. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE — Thursday’s championship game of the Maryland Elite Summer Varsity League pitted the Springbrook Blue Devils (7-3) against Frederick County’s Oakdale Bears (9-1). Despite a 28-point performance by Delano Jessup, Springbrook fell to Oakdale, 69-68.

Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers viewed the loss through a positive lens. Pointing out that two of his starters, Matthew Blanc and Anthony Thomas, were missing.

“The young kids stepped up and did a great job,” said Meyers. “We should’ve won, we missed a lot of free throws, but that’s what summer league is for, it’s a chance to grow.”

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Big Train wins second consecutive Cal Ripken League title

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JGS 4281Closing pitcher Stephen Schoch is surrounded by teammates after the Bethesda Big Train defeat the Baltimore Redbirds 4-2 in the Cal Ripken League Championship game. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH   BETHESDA – The Bethesda Big Train won the 2017 Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship for the second year in a row Sunday night after beating the Baltimore Redbirds 4-2.

The Baltimore Redbirds won the previous Game Two in Baltimore to force a winner-takes-all Game Three at Shirley Povich Field Sunday. The Bethesda Big Train came through with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Big Train pitcher Tyler Smith appeared dominant on the mound, getting three consecutive batters out in each of the first three innings

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MoCo native Keemaan Diop wins American Muay Thai League championship

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Keemaan Diop Muay Thai champ 2Keemaan Diop is declared the winner of the American Muay Thai League championship. PHOTO BY NIKKI PUCCIO  

Cheers erupted from the crowds as the referee grabbed the arm of Montgomery County local Keemaan (pronounced “k?y?-m?n”) Diop and raised it high in the air. The referee then wrapped around Diop’s waist the championship belt for the American Muay Thai League’s 147lb weight division.

Diop defeated Brian O’Halloran from Capital MMA with an astonishing kick to the head, leaving O’Halloran screaming in pain on the canvas in the semi-final round. Then, a unanimous decision against Stephen Nguyen from Lotus Thai Boxing-Fairfax in the finals to marked the end of his amateur matches and the start of his pro career.

“After a win, I like to say I added another brick to building my dream. It’s a great memory. Now it’s on to the next,” Diop said.

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Good Counsel wins 4th straight boys’ WCAC cross country championship

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RESTON, Va. – The Good Counsel boys cross country team won its fourth straight WCAC championship Saturday morning and their girls’ varsity team placed second on a Lake Fairfax course head coach Tom Arnold described as “brutal.”

Not only did speed help the Falcon boys win but also their closeness through the race as the top five tallied 25 points.

Six Good Counsel runners placed between third and eighth place, which allowed the Falcons to edge second-place Gonzaga (35 points).

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Memorable season for Washington Spirit ends in heartbreak on penalty kick

20160903 DRW Spirit vs WNYF-1Washington Spirit's Crystal Dunn (19), seen here in an earlier game against the Western New York Flash, scored both goals for the team, but the Flash would win in OT on a penalty kick. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

The Washington Spirit finished their season last week runner-up for the National Women’s Soccer League championship, falling to the Western New York Flash in Houston in overtime penalty kicks Oct. 9.

Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra said he thought the better team lost the game that ended in a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation and 3-2 in favor of the flash after PKs.

“The better side does not always win in these matches, especially in something as late as four minutes of added time,” he said. “To go to penalty kicks , it’s an awful way to decide a match.”

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Northwest boys win state outdoor Championship

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Dylan BikimQuince Orchard senior Dylan Bikim placed first in the boys high jump, earning his third state title for the event. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH

The Northwest boys track team beat rival Charles H. Flowers by two points winning a variety of events; three sisters helped Clarksburg finish with 66.5 points, 37.5 points behind CF Flowers but ahead of its county rival Northwest (63 points).

The Germantown-based 4x100 meter relay team (42.30 seconds) won its race Saturday by 0.6 seconds. The same four runners, sophomore Khaloni Mganga and seniors Andrew Daniels, Ibrahim Konate and Davino Frazer, raced in the 4x200 meter relay Friday, but lost by 0.06 seconds to the CH Flowers relay team.

Northwest head coach Robert Youngblood said his boys 4x200 meter relay team led the race until the last 20 meters when the CH Flowers final leg caught up. He then pulled ahead just before the finish line.

“It took their best to beat us,” Youngblood said of the school’s rival, whose mascot is also the Jaguars.

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Churchill wins Hockey Title

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DSC 4584Churchill, The Maryland Student Hockey League State Champions. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH

LAUREL – The Churchill High School hockey dynasty is alive and well after collecting another championship last week.

Churchill dominated Annapolis/Old Mill on Friday night to capture the Maryland Student Hockey League State Championship by virtue of an 11-0 victory.

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